As winter comes to an end, the beginning of spring is marked with the blossoming of sakura. On April 7th 2018, Matsue will be full of brave samurai, princesses, and of course the founder of Matsue. Watch as citizens dress up in elaborate costumes and parade around Matsue as they once did long ago. Meet some of the most influential people of Matsue from 400 years ago, as they make an appearance in this annual event.
Matsue “Musha Gyoretsu” Warrior Parade is a re-enactment of Lord Horie Yoshiharu, the founding father of Matsue, and his troops marching through Matsue. Every year, many citizens dress up as brave warriors or princesses in vivid costumes as they parade around the sakura-filled Matsue as they head to their destination, National Treasure Matsue Castle.
JR Matsue Station
Mini Warrior Parade
When: 10:30 a.m. –
Where: from JR Matsue Sta. (A) to Tenjin Rotary (B)
Matsue “Musha Gyoretsu” Warrior Parade Starting Ceremony
When: 12:30 p.m. ~
Matsue Ohashi Bridge (C)
Matsue Castle Rifle Squad Performance
Iwakuni Feudal Domain Rifle Squad Performance
When: 1:00 p.m. ~
Armed Forces Performance Exhibition
When: 1:30 p.m. ~
Matsue Kiyomise Shopping District (D)
When: 1:15 p.m. ~
Shimane Prefectural Meeting Hall (West side)
& Second Castle Keep (Upper Level) (E)
Matsue Castle Rifle Squad Performance
Iwakuni Feudal Domain Rifle Squad Performance
When: 2:00 p.m. ~
Armed Forces Performance Exhibition
When: 2:30 p.m.~
Lord Horio Yoshiharu Victory Speech and Entry to the Castle
When: 3:00 p.m. ~
Japanese Dance Performance by Shinnosuke Fujima
Amago Drum Demonstration
When: around 3:15 pm ~ *After the Warrior Parade
Where: Umadamari Stage
Visiting Ceremony to Matsue Shrine/ Lord Yoshiharu’s Arrival to Castle Tower
When: around 3:30 pm ~ *After the Warrior Parade
*All above is approximate time. Please note that the schedule is subject to change due to the conditions of the day. The use of flash towards horses, drawn and tripod is prohibited for the safety reasons.
■Watch this promotional video about Samurai in Matsue!
Matsue Musha Gyoretsu Official website (JP)
Fuji Dream Airlines will be introducing two new routes to Izumo Airport!
The two new routes will connect Izumo to Sendai and Shizuoka!
And with special promotional prices!
5,555 JPY *one-way ticket purchased 45 days in advance for dates 3/25~4/27/2018
Start Date: 3/25/2018
|Flight No.||Shizuoka (depart)||Izumo (arrival)||Flight No.||Izumo (depart)||Shizuoka (arrival)|
|FDA 185||16:15||17:35||FDA 184||14:30||15:40|
7,777 JPY *one-way ticket purchased 45 days in advance for dates 4/20 ~ 4/27/2018 , 5/7 ~ 5/31/2018
Start Date: 4/20/2018
|Flight No.||Sendai (depart)||Izumo (arrival)||Flight No.||Izumo (depart)||Shizuoka (arrival)|
|FDA 703||12:30||14:00||FDA 702||10:30||12:00|
Explore some of the links below for ideas on planning your trip to Shimane.
Once a year for one day, the streets of Matsue will become filled with green as food stalls line the streets, filled with singing, dancing, and of course pints of Guinness. The encounter Matsue had with the literary great Lafcadio Hearn, who moved to Matsue in 1890, was the impetus for Matsue’s exchange with Ireland. Since 2007, Matsue has been holding Irish Festivals which also includes an appearance by St. Patrick as they parade through the city. Karakoro Art Studio will be illuminated green every day from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m. until March 17th.
The main area of the event will take place around Karakoro Art Studio, but on the 11th (Sun), there will be a parade where St. Patrick will make an appearance. From 11 a.m. St. Patrick will take a ride around the Horikawa moats, then from 12:30 p.m. there will be a ceremony in front of Matsue Castle, which will then be followed by a parade led by St. Patrick to Karakoro Square. There will be food stalls and performances in the streets while the basement of Karakoro Art Studio will be redecorated into an Irish pub, where there will be live music and drinks.
Matsue Castle (National Treasure) Green Illumination
2/27 (Mon) – 3/17 (Fri) 6 p.m. –10 p.m. [map]
Karakoro Art Studio Green Illumination
2/16 (Thu) – 3/17 (Fri) 6 p.m. – 12 p.m. [map]
PATRICK’S DAY PARADE 3/11 (SUN)
●BOAT PARADE *entry form required
Start: 11:00 a.m. from Otemae Hiroba Boat Pier
Boat fare: [Adult] 500yen [Junior, High school student] 200 yen [Elementary >] FREE
●LAND PARADE *entry form required
Reception: 11:30 a.m. at Matsue Castle Tourist Information Box
Start: 12:30 p.m. (starting ceremony)
*For those that want to participate in the parades, please fill out the form by 3/5 (Mon) and either fax or e-mail it to the address at the bottom of the form. (Link at the bottom)
●SONG AND DANCE PERFORMANCES
3/11 (Sun) 1:20 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Location: Karakoro Square
●IRISH PUB “THE SHAMROCK”
3/10 (Sat) 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Location: Karakoro Art Studio Basement (old Bank vault)
Fee: 2,500 yen (one drink incl.) / *[presale] 2,000 yen (one drink incl.)
●IRISH MUSIC GARDEN
3/11 (Sun) 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Location: Karakoro Garden Terrace
3/11 (Sun) 11:00 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Location: Parking lot next to Karakoro Art Studio
2/16 (Fri) – 3/17 (Fri) 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. (closed on Thurs)
Location: Karakoro Art Studio 1st floor
Wear your green, show your pride, drink some Guinness, and enjoy the live music and performances as Matsue become festive, for a weekend. “Sláinte!”
<—If you are visiting Matsue from Hiroshima,
there is 500yen bus (one-way) for you!
SL Yamaguchi-go Steam Train, is an engine model C571 steam locomotive train which runs through the unspoiled countryside between JR Shin-Yamaguchi Station (Yamaguchi) and Tsuwano Station. Its beautiful black solid iron body impresses all the SL fans. And even if you are not a SL fan, your heart will beat just as fast when you hear it blowing its whistle as it comes by leaving a trail of steam and smoke.
Shin-yamaguchi Station, easily reachable by bullet train, is where your 2 hour journey on the SL Yamaguchi will start . It is recommended to reserve in the observation coach or open the windows to enjoy the lovely scenery, however, please be careful when you go through tunnels. Hurry back inside and close the windows, or you will find yourself sooty by the time you get out.
At the last stop, the old castle town of Tsuwano will be waiting for you. At this time you can watch the SL train turn around on the turntable at the Tsuwano Station to make its return trip back to Shin-yamaguchi Station.
In Japan, steam locomotive trains were put out of service at the end of 1960s, and steam locomotives on the Yamaguchi Line also disappeared in 1973. However, a lot of SL fans were eager to see restored SLs run again and it was then decided that the traction engine Model C571 would run again on the Yamaguchi Line.
During the summer of 2013, heavy rain hit Shimane several times, leaving damages across the western Shimane. JR Railway’s lines were seriously damaged and some sections were put out of service. SL Yamaguchi was also put out of service for a year and its absence was lamented by not only train fans, but also many locals and sightseers.
The beloved SL Yamaguchi made its come back the next summer, running proudly through the unspoiled nature again and was welcomed by a lot of people.
☆Operation schedule 2018☆
*The operating schedule may be subject to change.
March – 24, 25, 31
April – 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22, 28, 29, 30
May – 3, 4, 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, 27
June – 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24, 30
July – 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 28, 29
August – 1, 4, 5, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 18, 19, 25, 26
September – 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 17, 22, 23, 24, 29, 30
October – 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 20, 21, 27, 28
November – 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18, 24, 25
December – 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23, 24
※ SL Yamaguchi doesn’t run during winter, except Christmas holidays and New Year holidays.
[Outbound : Shin-Yamaguchi 10:50 ⇒ Yamaguchi 11:13 ⇒ Tsuwano 12:59 ]
[Inbound : Tsuwano 15:45 ⇒ Yamaguchi 17:09 ⇒ Shin-Yamaguchi 17:30 ]
*SL Yamaguchi is a reserved -seat train. You need a railway ticket (You don’t need it if you are a Japan Rail Pass holder) and also need to reserve your seat in advance (Rail Pass holders also need to pay the fee for the reserved seat ticket). You can purchase and/or reserve your seats at ticket reservation office Midori-no Madoguchi at JR stations or major travel agencies . Tickets can be purchased from a month in advance.
The fare and the vacant seat conditions are available on the official website (Japanese) or by phone.
Customer support center : +81(0)570-00-2486 /JR WEST JAPAN Hiroshima Branch ：+81(0)82-264-7420
Japan has over 500 snow resorts from small to large throughout the nation. Of course, some are in Shimane too, located along its southern border with Hiroshima prefecture.
Compared to other Japan’s well-known snow resorts, i.e. Niseko in Hokkaido, Hakuba in Nagano, Yuzawa in Niigata, they are smaller and have a less number of courses. Though, they are less packed, usually no need to que up for lift, and furthermore, family-friendly! All equipment and clothing can be rented, so head there to have fun in the winter.
*Most resorts are open from December to March, but please check the schedule on their own websites.
01 About Swans in Nogi Plain
Nogi Plain in Yasugi City is a great place for bird watching.
Since around 1975 swans began to come to Nogi Plain for wintering. Now, every year around 1,000 swans come here from Siberia to pass the winter. Usually they come here in early November and stay until mid March. Actually these swans sleep at nearby Yonago Mizudori Park in Yonago City, Tottori, and ‘commute’ to this Nogi Plain every morning for food, spend daytime here and get back to the park to rest in the evening and night.
It is said that they love this Nogi Plain which has vast ricefields because food is still plentiful after the harvesting of the ricefields (second yielding rice stalks, leaves, roots etc.) and the space is quiet and wide open which give swans a nice distance from human beings/cars.
02 Bird-watching tips
Swans are very sensitive and to get frightened easily. So when you come here for bird watching, please keep in mind to always keep a good distance from the birds so that they keep coming peacefully in the future. Please also refrain from making loud noises. And also do not feed the birds. Happy and safe bird watching for both swans and humans 🙂
10 mins by car from Yasugi I.C. on San’in Expressway
04 Nearby recommended spots
Adachi Museum of Art (Yasugi City)
Yasugibushi Performance Hall (Yasugi City)
Yasugi Kiyomizudera Temple (Yasugi City)
Yuushien Garden (Matsue City)
Matsue Castle (National Treasure) (Matsue City)
Lake Shinji (Matsue City)
More info and photos:
http://www.yasugi-kankou.com/index.php?view=5696 (Japanese site)
Ohnan Town is holding its 8th annual INAKA Illumination event this November 25th and 26th 2017. Come see the spectacular display of over 35,000 hand-arranged LED lights at Ohnan’s famous JR Uzui Station. The event includes locally crafted illumination artwork, illuminated performances and Ohnan’s specialty A-class gourmet food.
For the past 7 years, Uzui village has held INAKA Illumination to revitalize the local community and promote the Ohnan’s only train – the JR Sankosen line. This line first opened in 1930, and from 1975 connected Gotsu City and Miyoshi City, yet due to budgetary issues it will be permanently discontinued March 2018.
Come out and send off the Sankosen line with a bang!
INAKA Illumination first began in 2010 as a way to stimulate the local community and the use of the JR Sankosen local train. At the suggestion of a local LED company, and with the cooperation of a special design company in Osaka, INAKA Illumination was realized and has become a focal point of Ohnan’s fall/winter season.
Uzui Station has 116 steps and stands 20 meters (65 feet) above the ground. It is also known as “the station in the sky.” While only 130 people live in the Uzui area, 60% of whom are senior citizens, approximately 8,000 people attend this event each year. (That’s over 60 times the population of the area.)
INAKA Illumination is completely different from the flashy lights of the city. Here visitors enter a world of illusion and fantasy. Time stops. Thirty-five thousand LED lights are wound into 5,000 gold shining stalks of rice that stretch out across the landscape. Uzui Station’s iron bridge of is afire with vibrant blue. Looking up at the station, it seems to fade seamlessly into the night sky. Scaling the steps and peering down below upon the small village, it’s as if the station itself is nestled among the stars.
The moment that truly draws visitors into the world of imagination is when the Sankosen train pulls into the station. Fans of the manga and anime Galaxy Express 999 (銀河鉄道 999) may recognize the imagery of the train exiting the tunnel and seemingly continuing onward on its journey through the galaxy.
02 A-CLASS GOURMET FOOD
A-Class Gourmet is the farm-to-plate philosophy of using locally grown produce to create delicious dishes, capturing a taste that can only be experienced in Ohnan.
INAKA Illumination hosts food stalls for patrons to try out local cuisine. The following are just a few examples:
・Skewers and bento of Iwami wagyu (High-quality beef, production limited to 200 cows per year)
・Wild boar dishes such as soup and meat buns
・Meals from Ohnan’s Kitchen Car, such as Iwami pork and pasta
・Salted ayu skewers (type of freshwater fish)
・Yakisoba and udon
・Zenzai (sweet red bean soup with mochi)
・Oden (traditional hot soup eaten in the winter)
・Specialty Ohnan cheeses
・Baked sweet potatoes
・Desserts such as grilled manju (sweet red bean bun), crepes, and donuts and soft serve ice cream made with soy milk
・Drinks such as Japanese sake, specialty coffee, café au lait and cider
03 Event Schedule
Date: November 25th and 26th (Sat. and Sun.) 2017
Time: 4 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Where: JR Uzui Station [map]
*Please be advised that the use of drones is prohibited.
Use the JR Sankosen local train to get the full “station in the stars” experience.
Parking can be found at Hasumi Middle School [map].
Free shuttle buses are available for transportation to and from the event.
05 More Details of the Event
For more details please check this PDF made by Ohnan Town !
Questions? Please contact at:
Facebook: Ohnan Town (@ohnantown)
\\ Discover more about Ohnan Town //
Following sites are newly listed;
【★★ : Recommended】
【★ : Interesting 】
【 other newly listed sites 】
So head to their website and enjoy discovering more about Shimane and Tottori! .
Specifically in western Shimane, referred to as the Iwami region, it is called “Iwami Kagura”. It is very popular for its entertaining features, such as the use of sound and visual effects to engage the audience in the performance.
Have a look at these videos showing how each element comes into life through the hands of professionals and creates the dance for gods all together…
01 Creating Masks from Washi paper
Variety of masks of Iwami Kagura are made of Washi paper and elaborately painted by professionals…
02 Creating Embroidery by hand
The brilliantly stunning costumes are also made by hand one by one…
03 The Soul Music
One of the most remarkable things about Iwami Kagura is that it’s like the soul music for the locals. Everyone, old, young, men and women, enjoy participating in the traditional performance that is held so dear in their hearts…
■ LEARN & DISCOVER MORE about IWAMI KAGURA
■ Watch one of the regular IWAMI KAGURA performance!
Matsue Suitoro (Matsue Water Lantern Festival) is a light-up event taking place in Matsue, where is known as a water city. During the event, hundreds of lanterns are set up in the castle ground of a National Treasure Matsue Castle.
At the night sightseeing boat tour which goes the castle moat (The night operation is only during the period of this event), visitors can enjoy the fantastic and mysterious atmosphere made by lights in the darkness and the reflections in water. Various events, such as music, and arts events also take place mainly in the castle ground.
Venue : Matsue Castle [map] and the surrounding area
Term : September 1st ~ October 31st 2017 (6 pm~9 pm) *Events are held mainly on weekends and public holidays
Main event dates : September 23rd, 24th, 30th October 1st, 7th, 8th, 9th, 14th, 15th, 21st, 22nd, 28th & 29th
Horikawa (Castle moat) Night Sightseeing Boat is operated only on the main event dates.
In a town famous for the rich and long history of Japanese tea culture, the Matsue Grand Tea Ceremony takes place annually in the beginning of Oct. The ceremony is known as one of the best three tea ceremony parties in Japan, many people come to enjoy one of the Japanese traditions : tea culture. Even if you are not a fanciers of sado, it is worth visiting to experience classic Japanese tea and Japanese confectioneries in a classic Japanese castle grounds.
Saka Shrine in the Izumo region enshrines a deity of sake brewery, and its origin goes back to the Japanese Mythology. On October 13th, one month ahead to the brewing season, an important ritual takes place here.
What makes this shrine so special is that it is one of the very rare shrines where is allowed to brewer sake. So people related to sake brewery pay a visit hoping they can make good sake for the upcoming season. And there the brewed Sake called Doburoku is served to not only brewers but also visitors. The brewed sake cannot be taken out of the shrine ground, so take a chance and taste this very rare opportunity.
Venue : Saka Shrine
Address : 110 Kozakaicho, Izumo, Shimane [map]
Date : October 13th 2017 ( 10 am ~ 9 pm ) *Kagura performance & Doburoku service 3:30 pm ~
Kiyomizu-dera Tosando is a lighting-up event held at Yasugi Kiyomizu-dera Temple in Yasugi City.
Venue : Kiyomizu-dera Temple [map]
Date : Date : October 14th (Sat.) ~15th (Sun.) 2017 ( 5 pm ~ 8:30 pm )
Access : 10 min by route bus from JR “Yasugi” Station.
Visitors can feel the mysterious atmosphere at a music event held at ‘Konpondo hall’, which is designated as Important Cultural Property.
At Seiryo-tei, a Japanese style inn which is located near the temple, welcomes visitors with Japanese foods. Visitors can enjoy supper seeing a pond reflecting the lights.
This is the only one marathon event which starts off on an active airport runway.
There are various courses to be chosen, Half marathon(20km), 10 km, 4km walking course, 2km wheel chair course, and family friendly course, everyone from children to adult can participate. *Need entry fee
Destination : Hagi-Iwami Airport
Address : 597 i Uchida-cho, Masuda, Shimane [map]
Date : October 15th (Sun.) 2017 *Start at 9 am
Application Period : May 1st ~ July 31st
Although the participant application deadline has passed, you may still drop by on the 15th and watch runners race in a marathon on the runway of Hagi-Iwami Airport.
Matsue Do-gyoretsu Drum Parade takes place on the third Sunday in October every year in the castle town of Matsue. Large Japanese drums called “Do(鼕)” make dynamic sounds through the city accompanied by bamboo flutes and “Changara” cymbals. Each float carry two to three drums that are individually 1.2m~1.8m in diameter. There are 15 to 16 such floats gathering at the Otemae of Matsue Castle around noon on the main festival day and they start drum performance! Then the procession starts at 1:30 p.m. and goes through the castle town of Matsue with lively and soul‐stirring rhythms to Shirakata-tenmangu Shrine.
Venue : Matsue Castle [map] and surrounding area
Date : October 14th (Sat.) ( 7 pm ~ 9 pm ) & 15th (Sun.) (floats gathering at Otemae at 11:45 am then parade staring at 1:30 pm at Matsue Castle to Shirakata-tenmangu Shrine via Matsue Ohashi Bridge) 2017
Access : (Matsue Castle) 15 min by route bus from JR “Matsue” Sta.
Yuushien in Matsue City is a place where you can enjoy Japanese gardens with seasonal colors.
During the autumn color season, beautifully organized gardens and autumn colored leaves are lit up gorgeously.
Period : November 3rd ~ 5th & 11th ~ December 25th 2017 (*except Tuesdays) & January 2nd ~ 8th 2018
Address : 1260-2 Yatsuka-cho Hanyu, Matsue-shi, Shimane [map]